Aaron Robison has recently joined San Francisco Ballet as a principal dancer. Born in Coventry, he grew up in England and Barcelona. Trained at the Royal Ballet School, Aaron won the Young British Dancer of the year in 2004 and joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet after graduating, in 2010 he moved back to Barcelona to work at Angel Corella’s company. We talk about his career since he left Barcelona for the second time, and the work that shapes him as a dancer.
Dores André and Aaron Robison in Tomasson's The Fifth Season © Erik Tomasson
Why and how did you join the Houston Ballet?
Around April-May 2012 when I was still with Angel Corella’s company we were touring to New York and Houston. After the show in Houston there was a ballet mistress, who gave her card to pass on to me in which she wrote if I was interested in joining the company to give them a call. So when we got back to Spain we found out that things weren’t going well. I called them and they offered me a job. It was easy in that sense, but obviously it was hard at the time, because I really didn’t want to live Spain I was pretty happy and I had a lot of fun working with Angel. He reminded me of why I danced. I knew at the back of my head that it wouldn’t last for a long time, because there wasn’t enough funding.
Aaron Robinson © Erik Tomasson
How was at the beginning your experience in the USA?
The first thing I noticed was the culture difference, America’s life style. For the first year I definitely struggled with it, especially Houston because it’s so spread out, you basically need a car to enjoy the city. During my first year things were going well, but doing a Nutcracker show in the coda I lifted a girl and I dislocated my shoulder, it was a serious injury. I had surgery and I was off for nine months. But fortunately the surgeons here are amazing and my shoulder actually feels stronger now then it did before. It was hard: it was a long time off and also being new and in America far from my family. When I started to dance again it really made me appreciate the things I had, and how valuable the time is and to be smarter with it.
Back on track, what did you learn?
Aaron Robisnon in "Etudes" by Harold Lander
Interview by Clàudia Brufau